Doug Pederson said he is encouraged by Carson Wentz’s continuing rehabilitation from knee surgery, but the Eagles coach confirmed that his quarterback has yet to be cleared to participate in any portion of practice this spring.
“He’s making progress each day,” Pederson said Friday at the NovaCare Complex. “We’ll just continue that process. He continues to throw and get stronger. There’s a fine line, too, this time of year of maybe trying to do too much too soon. Our [trainers] are on top of it. He’s on top of it. He’s managing it extremely well.”
Wentz wasn’t expected to practice during offseason workouts. Spring practices will end June 14 after a three-day mandatory minicamp. Nick Foles will take most of the first-team snaps on offense when organized team activities begin on May 22.
The date Wentz is most concerned about is Sept. 6, when the Eagles will host the Falcons in the season opener. The quarterback, who tore ligaments in his knee on Dec. 10, has said that his goal is to be ready by Week 1.
“I love the enthusiasm,” Pederson said. “I want that from all our players, obviously. Go back to Sidney Jones. I’m not going to rush him out there. I don’t want to expose him. He’ll be ready when he’s ready and when we feel he’s ready.”
Jones, whom the Eagles drafted last year despite his March 2017 Achilles tendon rupture, didn’t practice for most of last season. But the cornerback played in the season finale.
In other news …
— Pederson declined to go into detail about Tim Jernigan’s herniated disk and how he suffered the injury. The defensive tackle, who injured his back away from the Eagles practice facility, underwent surgery recently and, per an ESPN report, isn’t expected to be ready by the start of the season and could be out for an extended period.
“There’s no timetable on him,” Pederson said. “The biggest thing is getting him healthy and getting him back when we can.”
— The Eagles have been conducting offseason workouts with veterans since April 16. Pederson was asked to give the names of players who came back in good shape.
“There were a number of guys that came back just eager and ready,” Pederson said. “It was a short offseason. … Jay Ajayi came back in great shape. Great health. Obviously, Nick finished the season strong, came back ready to go. Even guys like Malcolm [Jenkins] on defense, and Fletcher [Cox], who has been here.”
— Workouts have been voluntary, and the defending Super Bowl champions have had a strong numbers. But some players — such as the recently acquired Michael Bennett — have chosen to attend sparingly.
“Michael was here a couple weeks ago and got involved with our offseason,” Pederson said. “Not worried about multiple Pro Bowl players that are going to come in and help us right away.”
— Rookie minicamp started Friday. The Eagles have 51 players — including their five draft picks, 15 undrafted rookies, several returning players, and many others trying out — in attendance.